Our clients , a middle-aged professional couple comprised of a Japanese graphic artist and a British psychologist , appointed us to refurbish their 1900s ’ maisonette in Gospel Oak , North-West London . They wanted to build an artist ’ s studio in lieu of the existing rear conservatory and make a number of internal alterations , all on a very tight budget .
Our idea was to create a bright and transparent space , seamlessly interconnected with the garden and the sky . There were some constraints : the footprint of the new extension was limited to that of the existing conservatory , the height at the boundary could not exceed 3m , and the narrow Northfacing gap along the other boundary risked becoming a dark and damp passage .
To achieve our objective and overcome the limitations , we came up with a simple but elegant solution . The studio is comprised of two volumes . One is a low redwood-clad cube attached to the boundary wall , extensively glazed on two sides , with a frameless corner and a large flat skylight on the top . Crowning it is the second volume – a lead-clad , sedumroofed prism set away from the boundary , with a West-facing window taking in the daylight and conveying it to the passage on the other side . The raised roof and the window of the second volume increase the internal height of the studio and fill it with daylight .
Structurally , the studio is a timber frame on a raft foundation . All elements were modelled and detailed in 3D .
Internally , the studio features an L-shaped desk with drawers and concealed cable trays . One wall is full-width , full-height bookshelves . Three plaster-in wall lights illuminate the sloped ceiling .
The artist working in the studio enjoys uninterrupted views of the tranquille garden , entirely remodelled with paved and gravel surfaces , raised decked areas , white-rendered retaining walls , evergreen shrubs and flower borders .
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